7 October 2016
Beyond pumpkin flavored everything, autumn is big business in some parts of the United States. And the main draw are the leaves themselves. In New England alone, tourists venturing to witness the change-in-color, a hobby known colloquially as “leaf peeping,” spend upwards of $3 billion US dollars annually. There are even great debates about where the best places to go “leaf peeping” are—a personal nod for me towards the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and the Canaan Valley in West Virginia. And while we are amazed at the natural tapestry autumn brings us, the underlying ecology is equally fascinating.